Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

There are so many different composting toilets out there to choose from. Good to see that you can now even buy them on Amazon! I see 128 customer reviews for the Nature's Head composting toilet. That should give you some good pointers already. (I usually find such customer reviews very helpful)

If you have specific technical questions or can provide more details on the context of your question, then please feel free to come back to the forum. A general buyer's guide is probably beyond what people are able or willing to provide here on the forum.

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  • TeresaE
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

In case you haven't found the information you were looking for. We did a lot of research before we purchased our composting toilet. We went with the Nature's Head due to its ease of use and reviews that we saw regarding it. We used the following which helped as it outlines the pros and cons of the toilets. Composting Toilet Guide
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  • toiletrevolution
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

Hello,

Sorry for seeing this so late, I bet you have already got the toilet by this stage. Anyway, just for the benefit of the forum I'll say my piece:

Thank you so much for your email. There are two types of composting toilet . An "internal composting toilet" and a "urine diverting compost toilet". The internal composting one does not separate solids and liquids and the waste breaks down to compost in the unit which means you never have to deal with raw waste. The urine diverting one separates the solids and the liquids but does not break the solids down to compost in the unit - you do that outside in a composting bin. You can read a full explanation here:

www.toiletrevolution.com/news/urine-diverting/

Examples of the urine diverting:

Separett
Natures Head
Air Head

Examples of the internal Composting:

Sun Mar
Biolet
Envirolet
Etc

We are the dealer for some of these brands. The advantage of the urine diverting one is that there is no maximum capacity as you are not waiting for composting to happen. The waste comes out in containers unbroken down. The advantage of the internal composting one is that the material breaks down in the unit so taking of the composted material is less frequent and more pleasant. Hope that helps

Patrick
www.toiletrevolution.com/
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  • ErnaC
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

I know its too late for the reply but still here's my experience,

At first I was too worried about using a composting toilet,But with time I learned a lot about it by reading different sources.The only main concern was how would I teach my child using one as he will get hesitant using it as he is not used to it, I got a source topreviewedten.com/all-about-composting-toilets/ which helped me a lot to teach my child using composting toilet and has a lot of beneficial information too.I hope this might help you.

I have bought Nature's Head Dry composting toilet after reading the reviews of the customers and going through this source topreviewedten.com/best-composting-toilet/ its been a few weeks of using and it works well

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Comment by moderator (EvM):
The discussion continued here but focused more on the definition of a composting toilet:
forum.susana.org/241-composting-toilets-...ng-toilet-a-misnomer
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  • Cluella
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

If you want to buy a composting toilet you should know: where and when (part-time/full time) will you use it, who will use it (it is important because you have to choose between manually-operated, semi-automatic, or fully automatic operation toilets), do you need electric or non-electric and etc (from inspectapedia.com/septic/Composting_Toilets.php ). If you will answer yourself all these questions it will be easy to choose the right one. There are many articles about composting toilet brands. You may check this review .

P.S. Some tips for this type of toilets you may find here www.cottagetips.com/tips/composting-toilet-tips/ .
Not all those who wander are lost.
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  • KaiMikkel
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

Anyone considering a "composting toilet" (what exactly do you mean when you use this term?) would be best served by reading the entire thread here .
Kai Mikkel Førlie

Founding Member of Water-Wise Vermont (formerly Vermonters Against Toxic Sludge)
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  • Benno
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  • Installer - Phoenix composting toilets Manufacturer - Urine diverting composting privies, Vermicomposting systems, Environmental educator, Composting toilet consultant.
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

Comment by moderator: Wendy Howard described a composting toilet that she has developed. Her post and a discussion that followed are now available in a separate thread here: forum.susana.org/290-vermifilters-for-bl...rdinary-flush-toilet

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Thanks for your thoughts, Wendy … I see that you have some interest in the Nature’s Head System. Because of it’s small size and challenging access to the collection area for removal, which translates into high and unpleasant maintenance concerns, I urge you to consider other options for residential full time use. If you are looking for a commercially available self-contained, urine diverting batch system, please consider the Separett Villa. I’m positive you will find the maintenance requirements for the Separett’s interchangeable bins to be much friendlier to navigate than the tedious removal process for the Nature’s Head. Separett also offers a UD seat if you want to construct your own batch collection privy. I have been installing Separett Villas and privies successfully in residences and for public locations, coupled with zero-discharge aerobic sequestering bins for commingling the batches for going on a decade. I support using the Rich Earth Institute UD protocols. richearthinstitute.org .

Your comment about marketing and consumerism is valid and appreciated. It’s been my observation of Nature’s Head and Air Head, and other systems, that they use clever marketing to oversell the capabilities of their product. This convinces consumers that it will work well for full time residential use. I believe there are other systems out there that are much easier to use. Not to belittle anyone’s product, but I think Nature’s Head is great for short time use, such as on a boat, or for a weekend retreat cabin. They are appealing due to their low cost, but it has been my experience that the lower the cost, the higher and more unsavory the maintenance. There are plenty of good systems out there. If they are installed inappropriately, and the end result is the user has a poor experience, then that gives the concept of composting toilets a bad name. None of us want that.

On another note, Anna Edey was way ahead of the modern sustainable agriculture curve for her time. I visited her very productive farm and greenhouse many (many) years ago to view her composting system. Memory is fuzzy, but I think the visit was because she had been shut down by the Board Of Health for exposure of uncomposted waste in proximity to food she was growing to sell. The sandy porous soil in SE Massachusetts, where she lived, also has a very high water table so she was at high risk of ground water contamination. Other readers on this forum may also go back that far in history and have a clearer memory than I.

Thanks for your work with permaculture

Ben
Ben has been fascinated with bugs and worms since he was a kid. He’s been composting with worms and building worm bins since 1995. He offers worm composting workshops that are engaging, informative, and fun. Ben lives in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, USA, along with some of the finest soil in the world, and where he works with water conservation and food nutrient recovery systems.
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  • WendyHoward
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  • Biologist/ecologist/educator running a permaculture centre in Central Portugal. Came across vermicomposting/vermifiltration in waste management in 2013 and developed an open-source DIY system based on one pioneered by Anna Edey in the 1990s and using conventional flush toilets. Passionate about restoring life and health to the planet's ecosystems.
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

Hi Ben.

I'm somewhat puzzled by your response. I'm not sure where you picked up that I have some interest in the Nature's Head system?! Are you confusing me with someone else perhaps? I have no interest in it at all. I developed my own vermicomposting system (detailed in my post above) which is all I use as well as Joe Jenkins' humanure bucket system.
Quinta do Vale - Permaculturing in Portugal
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www.vermicompostingtoilets.net/
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  • Benno
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

Hi Wendy ... I easily could have misread something on the forum, but I was responding to what I thought was a link in one of your communications that referred to an amazon listing for Nature's Head. You, or the writer, seemed to express an interest in them. I wanted to offer an alternative.

I am all for using worms in humanure.

Best ... Ben
Ben has been fascinated with bugs and worms since he was a kid. He’s been composting with worms and building worm bins since 1995. He offers worm composting workshops that are engaging, informative, and fun. Ben lives in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, USA, along with some of the finest soil in the world, and where he works with water conservation and food nutrient recovery systems.
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  • WendyHoward
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  • Biologist/ecologist/educator running a permaculture centre in Central Portugal. Came across vermicomposting/vermifiltration in waste management in 2013 and developed an open-source DIY system based on one pioneered by Anna Edey in the 1990s and using conventional flush toilets. Passionate about restoring life and health to the planet's ecosystems.
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

Hi Ben

Not me! I would go so far as to say I have an allergy to the things. Massively overcomplicated and a total pain in the ass to clean. Wouldn't dream of linking to them! Give me a Joe Jenkins bucket system any day if you want a dry toilet.

Best, Wendy
Quinta do Vale - Permaculturing in Portugal
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www.vermicompostingtoilets.net/
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  • bowenarrow
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

I would like to take us all back to the question at the head of this string. "Which composting Toilet to choose "
This invites personal preferences and for me as a non academic I would choose a urine diverting dry pedestal coupled to a continuous composting chamber, probably vermicultural, if there is such a word.
I have come to this choice after 30 years of design and manufacturing system parts for the Compost Toilet Industry, and my own systems, my choice being heavily influenced by feedback from actual long time users.
From where I stand I see no going back to flushing toilets , the world recognises the commodity value of water and the movement away from chemical fertilizers, making our excreta no longer a waste but a resource.
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Which composting toilet to choose - recommendations, please?

Hi Benno,
About that link to Amazon and Nature's Head I think you are referring to the post by user Groove at the very start of this thread in July 2018 when he or she wrote:

I am also looking for a good composting toilet and now I'm choosing from both www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B009Z7EK...m=0&tag=ventlessr-20 and Wisepick (link had to be deleted), maybe anybody used it (or something others) and can recommend?

I just thought I would clarify this.

To all,
FYI: I have now moved the discussion about Wendy's vermicomposting system into a separate thread ( forum.susana.org/290-vermifilters-for-bl...rdinary-flush-toilet ) to keep everything neat and easy to follow. I have put a link from one thread to the other and vice versa so one can still find the different discussions.

Regards,
Elisabeth
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(under consultancy contract with Skat Foundation funded by WSSCC)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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